08 March 2016, Lagos – Capt. Thompson William, the Director, Inspections and Survey, Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA), on Tuesday said that five million Nigerians would be employed if the Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL) is refloated.
Williams stated this in an interview in Lagos. The NNSL which started operations in 1959 was liquidated in 1995 and its 21 vessels were sold.
The company’s (NNSL) assets were inherited by the National Unity Line (NUL). The NUL, fully owned by the defunct National Maritime Authority (NMA), commenced commercial operations in July 1996 as Nigeria’s national flag carrier.
The NUL had just one ship – MV Abuja – and in August 2005, the government put the NUL up for sale.
William said that it was expedient for Nigeria to have ships and engage in shipping business to create employment opportunities for the youth.
The maritime expert, however, advised that professionals should be engaged to supervise and kick off the resuscitation of the defunct NNSL without delay. He explained that Bangladesh and India equally passed through the same process and came out with success.
“Nigeria is in the right direction in hosting the ongoing international training on Port State Control (PSC) being attended by 19 countries in the West and Central Africa sub-region.
“This (training) will give us the necessary tools to be on top of our assignments,’’ William said. He said that training ship inspectors was good in order to easily unveil whatever a ship captain coming into a port could try to hide.
“There is need for continuous training of ship inspectors who will be knowledgeable enough to catch any dishonest captain,’’ William said. He, however, urged the federal Government to train more manpower for maximum protection of the nation‘s waterways.